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Old 04-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
You need to see that the transmission design actually pumps oil to the bearings while idling and in neutral. Some do not, so it would do no good to run the engine.



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Please name one.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:38 AM   #16
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Novel approach but you know the risk.

Few people do or would , which kind of speaks for itself, but small company is company none the less.

Maybe now more people will, they heard it here.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az99 View Post
Please name one.
I am not that much into the current autos. You will need to ask a transmission shop about the particular tranny and vehicle.

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Old 04-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #18
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Flat-Tow with the engine running?

Quote:
Originally Posted by az99 View Post
Please name one.
I have a 2010 Escape (4 wheel dr) and the manual is vey specific that I run the engine AND shift into Drive and Reverse before shutting off to tow and also to do this every 6 hours. Seems like it might be suggesting the need to run it in gear to be affective.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #19
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I had wrote about this some months ago with no takers, so I'll try again. In the late 80's I read a article about people pulling auto trans vehicles with the engine idling, in gear. The claim was it improved MH mileage and got around the trans oiling problem. I believe it was in Popular Mechanics magazine. Personally I think it is workable. Very easy to piggy back a warning light off an oil pressure switch to monitor a running toad engine.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:34 PM   #20
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I think there's a larger issue than saving the cost of a trans pump, d/s disco or a trailer. That issue is that how would you use an aux braking system successfully? The auyx systems I'm familiar with are designed to apply the brake without any power assistance from an engine that is running. It would seem that with the engine running and aux braking applied you could easily lock up the toad brakes. Maybe you guys with the engines running are not using aux brakes. If this is the case it brings up a couple of questions:
1. Is your tow vehicle designed to stop an additional 4000 or so lbs in a panic stop?
2. Most states require aux brakes on vehicles being towed. So, what are you going to do when there's an accident?
3. What about the safety of others traveling the same roads?

It seems that the efforts to save a few bucks may just end up costing immeasurably more.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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I don't see any substantive issue with doing this. There may be a few vehicles that won't pump enough fluid through the tranny when idling in neutral, but the risk seems very low. And worrying about the engine stalling seems like a long shot to me. There are no doubt a dozen things that could conceivably fail but probably won't, e.g. the tranny could drop into gear or a wheel bearing could seize up or... At some point it's just worrying to no purpose. Besides, a tranny lube pump or drive shaft disconnect can fail too.

I think leaving the engine running is a reasonable and cost effective solution for those who don't tow often or far.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #22
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I have friend, and neighbor, who does this Fall and Spring. From Northern Michigan to Arizona and back. A Chevy S-10 pickup auto trans and never a problem.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:55 PM   #23
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Sorry if this has been discussed before. I could not find much information.

I will probably be flamed for asking this, but I just want to know if anyone else tow's a "non approved" car with an automatic four down. I do it every time my motor home leaves the driveway. I tow a 2007 Mercury Mariner two wheel drive, V-6 Automatic transmission. I go fill the Mariner with gas, hook it to the MH put it in neutral and leave the motor running, It uses less than a gallon per hour rolling down the road and any whey I calculate it, it's way cheaper than buying a "approved" vehicle or buying one then having it modified to be able to tow it. I talked with two different mechanic's and both said it would not hurt the transmission and it would not hurt the car to idle for hours at the time behind the MH. I must say that most all our trips are 200 miles or less, but I would still do it on an extended trip also.
I just wanted to know if anyone else does this.

Thanks in advance for any input on this!
Do you use any brake system?
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:14 PM   #24
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Do you use any brake system?
I'm curious about brakes, too- or are they not required/necessary for cars under tow?
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:20 PM   #25
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I'm curious about brakes, too- or are they not required/necessary for cars under tow?
I towed for many years without brakes,don't even know if they had them in late 60's.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:49 PM   #26
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A couple of years ago, some dummy (guess who?) left our CRV in ACC overnight and the battery was dead the next morning. I decided to just tow with the engine running to charge the battery. I am one of those people who will not tow without auxiliary brakes, to the point where we delayed continuing a trip when we had a brake system problem. We use a Brake Buddy Classic. I never thought about it not working right with the car engine running. We drove for 200 miles or so with a couple of rest stops, a lunch break, and a fuel stop, when I turned the car engine off. The Brake Buddy did not lock the car brakes, but I normally set the sensitivity so it only comes on during a harder stop. I cannot remember whether the brake activated during this segment or not, but it normally does once or twice during a trip segment like this.
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Old 04-13-2013, 05:50 AM   #27
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It all can be done..

I've been towing with a lube pump for many years. Three months ago the lube pump failed. Since I only plan to keep the car another six months, it wasn't prudent to buy another pump as my new car won't need a pump.

Decided to try towing with the engine running, but needed a "dead" pedal on my brake for my aux braking system. Went to the local hardware store, bought a 1/2 in ball valve and added two barbed fittings w/clamps on each end. Cut the vacuum line to the power brake booster and inserted the new ball valve.

Now when I tow, I just shut the ball valve off when towing. Been working fine for the last three months and 2,000+ miles.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:34 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer
I think leaving the engine running is a reasonable and cost effective solution for those who don't tow often or far.
Why bother towing ..... Period? We've been full time for over two years with a tow vehicle, but if I had to do it over Or if my current tow vehicle dies of exhaustion ....I do not believe I would bother setting-up ($$$$) and buying a special new vehicle just for this purpose. If you don't travel often or far..... just have your wife drive "whatever" car you like or can afford. We travel around 10k p/yr and move on average around 2-3 times p/mo......but the average drive is only 3-4hrs.....so I can stand to be separated from the wife for a few hours!
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